Useful information on Mongolia, including all the useful things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation in this state of Asia.
Mongolia in a nutshell
- Capital: Ulaanbaatar
- Area in sq km: 1,565,000
- Population: 2,756,000 (2010)
- Religion: Tibetan Buddhist majority (ca. 96%), Muslim, shamanic and Christian.
Where is it
Mongolia, a state of Central and Eastern Asia, is bordered by Russia to the north, south, east and west with China. It has no outlets on the sea.
Its territory is formed by an alteterre system characterized largely by steppes.
In the north-western part of the country, the Mongolian Altai chain stretches in a south-easterly direction, from the Tabyn-Bogda-Shan (4356 m) to the extreme south, where the steppe and flat Gobi desert extends to a average altitude ranging from 900 to 1500 slm.
The Mongolian Altai chain looks like a high wall, with elevations above 4000 meters, the highest in Mongolia, with peaks covered by glaciers, from which many streams flow.
The reliefs of Tannu Ola in the north-west, of the Eastern Saians in the center, of the Hentej in the east and of the Hangayn Nuruu in the center-north, complete the mountainous system of the country.
Mongolia's rivers only partially pay to the sea, and many of them do not have a permanent waterway.
However, the country can count on extensive lake basins and numerous streams; among these, the main ones are the Selenga which flows into Lake Baikal, the Orhon, the longest river in Mongolia and a tributary of the Selenga, the Non, the Herlen which flows in eastern Mongolia and flows into Lake Hulun in China. The vast depression of the great lakes extends to the north-west (the largest lake by area is the UVs nuur).
Mongolia's climate is continental, with very cold and dry winters, short and relatively humid summers, with greater rainfall in the north and center.
In general, the country is affected by very high atmospheric pressures and is subject to significant temperature fluctuations, the frost dominates for seven months a year and the wind blows impetuously, especially in the spring.
The majority of the population is made up of Mongols (especially of the Khalkha ethnic group); the remainder is made up of Turks and small minorities of Chinese and Russians.Recommended readings
- Ulan Bator (Mongolia): what to see in the capital
- Mongolia: useful information
The time zone in Mongolia is 7 hours ahead of Italy and 6 hours ahead when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy.
The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian Khalkha.
The country has immense mineral reserves, especially copper and coal, as well as lanthanides, gold, tin and tungsten.
It can also count on highly prized products derived from breeding, including cashmere and leathers.
When to go
The best time to visit Mongolia is from May to September.
To enter Mongolia you need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months, an entry visa is also required to be requested from the Mongolian Consulate.
The visas have a duration of 30 days, for a longer period of stay the Consulate must receive authorization from the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The international prefix for calling from Italy to Mongolia is: 00976
- The international dialing code for making calls from Mongolia to Italy is: 0039
It is possible to use your mobile phone, but it is good to inquire with the telephone operator in Italy if it is enabled for international roaming.
It will most likely be less expensive to buy a sim card in Mongolia. With a smartphone and a local sim card it is possible to access the internet.
The electric current in Mongolia is 230 V 50 Hz.
The grid frequency is not very stable.
The electrical outlets are type C (European 2-pole) and type E (French 2-pole with female earth contact).
It is advisable to have an adapter for electrical outlets.
The official currency of Mongolia is the Il tugrik or tögrög.
In the capital, Ulaanbaatar, you can exchange euros at authorized banks and offices, there are also ATMs.
Also in the capital, American dollars are widely accepted and credit cards can also be used for payment in major hotels and shops. Outside the capital local currency is needed.
How to get
There are no direct flights from Italy to Mongolia.
The Mongolian flag carrier, Miat Airlines, operates flights to Ulaanbaatar departing from Berlin.
Aeroflot offers flights via Moscow and Air-china via Beijing.
From Moscow with the Trans-Siberian train you can reach Ulan Bator in about 5 days of travel.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter Mongolia.
However, it is useful to follow some hygienic measures, to drink only bottled water without adding ice, the vegetables should be eaten cooked, the fruit only if peeled personally.
After medical consultation, vaccinations against typhoid, hepatitis A and B are recommended.
Before departure, it is appropriate to take out health insurance that covers medical costs, in addition to those to be incurred for a possible repatriation.